Money and Costs
Budget: Less than €100
- Dorm bed or peer-to-peer rental: €18–35
- Doner kebab: €3–4
- Club cover: €5–15
- Public transport day pass: €7
- Private apartment or double room: €80–120
- Two-course dinner with wine: €40–60
- Guided tour: €10–20
- Museum admission: €8–20
Top end: More than €200
- Upmarket apartment or double in top-end hotel: from €180
- Gourmet two-course dinner with wine: €80
- Cabaret ticket: €50–80
- Taxi ride: €25
ATMs widespread. Cash is king; credit card acceptance is growing, but don't count on it.
ATMs & Debit Cards
- ATMs (Geldautomat) are the best and easiest way to get cash. Most are accessible 24/7 and are linked to international networks such as Cirrus, Plus, Star and Maestro.
- ATMs not affiliated with major banks may charge higher transaction fees (€5 or more). ATMs do not recognise pins with more than four digits.
- Since many ATM cards double as debit cards, they can often be used for payment in shops, hotels, restaurants and other businesses, especially MasterCard and Visa cards.
- Most Germans use a debit card known as an EC Card. Foreign debit cards are not always accepted.
- Most places use the ‘chip and pin’ system: instead of signing, you enter your PIN. If your card isn’t chip-and-pin enabled, you may be able to sign the receipt, but not always – ask first.
Cash is king in Germany, so always carry some with you and plan to pay in cash in most places. It's a good idea to set aside a small amount of euros as an emergency stash.
Currency exchange offices (Wechselstuben) can be found at airports and major train stations. They usually have better hours and charge lower fees than commercial banks. Some convenient offices:
- Reisebank (www.reisebank.de) Zoologischer Garten, Hauptbahnhof, Ostbahnhof and Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse.
- Euro-Change (www.euro-change.de) Alexanderplatz station; Europa Centr, Friedrichstrasse 80.
Reisebank keeps slightly longer hours; on Sundays, the airports are your only option.
- Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted (especially in hotels and upmarket shops and restaurants), but it’s best not to assume that you’ll be able to use one – enquire first.
- Visa and MasterCard are more commonly accepted than American Express and Diner's Club.
- Some places require a minimum purchase with credit card use.
- Cash advances on credit cards via ATMs usually incur steep fees – check with your card issuer.
It's considered rude to leave the tip on the table. Instead, tell the server the total amount you want to pay. If you don't want change back, say 'Stimmt so' (that's fine).
- Hotels Room cleaners €1 to €2 per day, porters the same per bag.
- Restaurants For good service 10% or more.
- Bars & pubs 5% to 10% for table service, rounded to the nearest euro, no tip for self-service.
- Taxis 10%, always rounding to a full euro.
- Toilet attendants €0.50.